On my way out of theater, entertained yet unsatisfied, I overheard a father and son discuss the Maleficent character. The young boy deserves credit for identifying the problem with the Disney sequel: “I’m not sure who Maleficent was in this movie actually.” Following the first Maleficent film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil finds Aurora (Elle Fanning), Queen of the Moors, concerned about the missing fairies from her kingdom along with her godmother Maleficent’s (Angelina Jolie) poor reaction to her engagement to Prince Philip, played by Beach Rat’s Harris Dickinson. Maleficent’s sincere effort to be cordial to Philip and his royal parents, particularly his petty mother Queen Ingrith played by Michelle Pfeiffer, turn sour. When the mistakenly evil witch is framed for cursing King John (Robert Lindsay), the film becomes a surface tale about identity, family and the danger of intolerance.
Continue reading “‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ Lacks A Meaningful Spark”
Elle Fanning is one of today’s biggest indie darlings, proving herself to be an electric screen presence. One of the industry’s most exciting young actresses, Fanning’s resume is pretty extensive for a twenty one year-old. In Max Minghella’s directorial debut Teen Spirit, Fanning stars as a young woman whose angelic voice takes her to an national singing competition. A fun entry to the “showbiz” film genre, Teen Spirit is a modern Cinderella story that takes its heroine on an adventure from a small town to the big time.
In the past year, films with flawed female artists have hit cinemas, and have sparked important conversations. Vox Lux, Her Smell, and A Star is Born depict some heavy subjects, but Teen Spirit is a lighthearted and optimistic view into the music industry. Mining inspiration from the likes of singing competitions such as American Idol and The Voice, Teen Spirit follows the circus of competition, and the passion for the underdog.
Continue reading “‘Teen Spirit’ is Musical Fun That is Pleasing to the Senses”
This review is by our guest writer, Christina Huang.
Being from Texas myself, ‘Galveston’ is a film that I have been anticipating for awhile now. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. Mélanie Laurent brings the small beach town that I have known for years to life in a beautiful way. Elle Fanning and Ben Foster are quite the duo, and the score is simply marvelous. Even though I was relatively satisfied with the quality of this film, I must say that the first twenty minutes or so were somewhat weak in terms of storytelling. Despite this, ‘Galveston’ is a solid crime thriller that is not to be missed.
Continue reading “SXSW Film Festival ’18: Elle Fanning and Ben Foster shine in ‘Galveston’, despite some minor flaws”